state of Ohio

From the Appalachian mountains to the city of Cleveland on Lake Erie, Ohio is a densely populated industrial state. But there is still plenty of wilderness to explore, with over 20 state forests and vast stretches of plains South of Lake Eerie. But before you hit the road in your home state, you need to have car insurance to keep you protected.

Luckily, the price for car insurance in Ohio is well below the national average. But prices can vary quite a bit from one city to another, and you should never settle for the first cheap car insurance policy you find.

Comparing car insurance quotes online is the most efficient way to find competitive rates from reliable insurance companies. OnlineAutoInsurance.com can help you obtain rates from various reputable insurers by completing one simple form, so you can find affordable car insurance coverage that keeps you protected.

But before you shop around, you need to know what you’re buying. So what are the minimum requirements, and what other policies should you consider?

Minimum Coverage for Ohio Car Insurance

State car insurance laws require that consumers follow a financial responsibility law requiring each driver to obtain a car insurance policy providing liability coverage for bodily injuries and/or property damage to other persons in case of an accident where the policyholder is found liable.

You must always carry proof of insurance with you, and be able to provide it for a law enforcement officer in a traffic stop. Failure to do so can result in fines, a suspended driver’s license, and vehicle impoundment.

Ohio's financial responsibility law consists of the following minimums for liability insurance:

  • $25,000 Bodily Injury Coverage per person

  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Coverage per accident

  • $25,000 Property Damage Coverage

Bodily Injury Liability covers damages up to the policy limits for others' bodily injuries that are the result of an accident caused by the insured. Damages may also include loss of wages and pain and suffering. Policyholders' coverage would pay these costs plus the cost of defense in court.

Property Damage Coverage reimburses you up to the policy limits for damage to other people's property that the policyholder is legally responsible for in an accident. This can include damages to vehicles, buildings, fences, or signs.

While minimum coverage will meet the requirements to make it legal to drive, they are far from comprehensive. Liability insurance will not reimburse you for injuries you or your passengers sustain in a car accident, nor will they help to pay for damages to your vehicle. If you aren’t financially prepared for any sudden, large expenses, you should consider adding additional policies.

Additionally, a serious car accident can cause damage that far exceeds the minimum liability limits. In order to protect you and your assets, it’s strongly advised to go above these minimums. Often, they can be double for only a few dollars more a month.

Additional Coverage to Consider

The following policies will extend your coverage to help you pay for medical expenses and damages to your car when you’re in an at-fault accident:

Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage will cover you and your passengers in the event that they are injured by a driver who does not have a policy or if they are victims of a hit-and-run accident. Underinsured motorist coverage also will help pay in excess of the at-fault party's policy if their liability limits are insufficient.

You may also purchase uninsured motorist property damage to cover vehicle repairs if you’re hit by an uninsured driver. This policy is usually purchased separately. If you already have collision and comprehensive insurance, it may not be worth the extra money.

Comprehensive and Collision

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage will pay to repair your vehicle regardless of liability. If you finance your vehicle, comprehensive and collision protection is usually required.

Collision coverage pays for any damage to the insured vehicle that is the result of a collision with another vehicle or any object such as a light pole. It will also help pay to replace your vehicle if it’s totaled. Although this is not a state requirement, it should be purchased to cover the potential damage to a vehicle, if desired.

Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to the insured vehicle as a result of damages other than collisions, such as theft, fire, vandalism, and more. Although not required by law, this coverage is the only way to protect yourself from damages that occur outside of accidents.

Medical Payments

This is a type of no-fault insurance that will ensure quick reimbursement of any medical or funeral expenses as a result of injuries in an accident. Though the limits are often low, it can be a great help if you have a high deductible on your health insurance, or if your insurance doesn’t cover dental or chiropractic services.

What determines your car insurance rates?

An insurance company will use a variety of personal factors and vehicle information to determine your insurance premiums. In general, the higher the risk it is to ensure you, the more you will have to pay. However, car insurance companies weigh these factors differently, and a company that offers cheap car insurance to your friend may not offer the best price for you.

The personal factors may include your age, sex, marital status, address, driving history, or credit score. Having negative items on a driving record and accident history - such as speeding tickets, accidents, and drinking and driving tickets - will directly affect your premiums.

If a motorist has made a lot of claims in the past, insurance companies may charge higher rates. You can avoid making claims on damages caused by small fender benders to avoid an increase in rates. However, drivers must file a report with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for any accidents causing $400 or more in property damage or bodily injury.

The vehicle being insured is also an important factor in determining rates. A more expensive automobile is generally more expensive to insure, with a few exceptions. Additional safety features, such as anti-lock brakes and airbags, can lower car insurance premiums.

The amount of coverage you select will also impact rates. Changing the maximum limits, adjusting the deductibles, and adding additional policies will all affect your car insurance premiums. You should compare quotes for multiple types of coverage in order to find the insurance policy that offers you the best value.

But that doesn’t mean you should skip essential coverage or choose a deductible you could never meet just to save money. If you’re in an accident and you don’t have coverage that makes sense for your finances, you won’t be saving any money at all - and you could wind up with a lot of debt.

Finding Affordable Ohio Auto Insurance Online

Once you know how much coverage you need, you’re ready to start comparing car insurance quotes online. In order to find the best value, you’ll need to make apples-to-apples comparisons on car insurance policies with similar levels of coverage.

Be sure to take advantage of the many possible car insurance discounts each company offers. These could be for safe driving, bundling multiple policies (like homeowners insurance), or students that maintain a good GPA.

Once you find a policy that suits you, you can purchase it online and print out proof of insurance within minutes. But even after you have coverage, you should still take the time to regularly complete a quote. They are always free, and there’s never any obligation to buy. Plus, it could save you hundreds of dollars a year. Get your free quote comparison today!